President Barack Obama on Friday will call for ending the government’s control of phone data from millions of Americans, a senior administration official said. The move marks a significant change to the National Security Agency’s controversial bulk phone record collection program.
Obama will announce the move in a highly anticipated speech at the Justice Department. However, the official said Obama will not recommend who should control the phone data and will instead call on the attorney general, intelligence community and Congress to make that determination. He’s asked for a recommendation on where to move the data before March 28, when the collection program comes up for reauthorization.
A presidential review panel proposed moving the data to the telephone companies or a third party. But the phone providers have balked at changes that would put them back in control of the records, citing liability concerns if hackers or others were able to gain unauthorized access to the records. . .